Dear Buddy – The Joy and Pleasure of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Dear Buddy,

Obviously I’m being sarcastic here. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease is disgusting. If you’ve never seen it before – and I hadn’t before you got it – it looks like little red bumps or bubbles on your hands (palms included), feet (soles included), mouth, and bottom (they leave that particular gem off the name). Because you had/have sensitive skin and eczema all over the place, you were particularly susceptible to HFMD. Not to mention, you were 10 months old – the age group affected most by HFMD. So, when you got it, you got it BAD.

It started at your ankles because that was where your eczema was worst at the time and it made a lovely entrance point. It was a particularly nasty case, as your doctors and teachers pointed out. It’s always comforting when a doctor calls in a colleague just to impress them with how bad something is.

“Never fear!” I was told, “It will run its course.” Run its course? You looked like you had leprosy. I won’t kid you, I truly thought something was going to fall off. There was nothing I could be injecting, administering, or applying? I was told I could apply Neosporin if I liked. I did. Apparently this helps prevent impetigo, but doesn’t actually move along or improve the HFMD.

You were quarantined in our house for a week, away from all other children and as many adults as could be prevented from contact with you. We were constantly telling Kitten not to touch you. No one had a whole week to take off of work, so we split it between Daddy, me, and some gracious grandparents with strong stomachs.

You could have cared less. You looked like a radiation accident, but were as happy as could be. It was the one thing I was grateful for.

We were nervous about bringing you back to school once you were cleared for re-introduction in to society. What if the other children caught it? How would we ever forgive ourselves for unleashing this scourge on to your unsuspecting classmates? Which is when we found out that you were actually in the last wave of HFMD that had struck every single child in two classrooms. Well then. In you go, Buddy! Back in to your petri dish!

Update: Read about our latest run-in with HFMD here! The new strain – yippee.

(Don’t look at the pictures if you’re squeamish!)

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Categories: Buddy, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “Dear Buddy – The Joy and Pleasure of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

  1. Poor dude! Stella had that once and it wasn’t so bad at my house. I hear you can get it more than once though?

    • From the CDC website, “When people get hand, foot, and mouth disease, they usually develop immunity to the specific virus that caused their infection. However, because it can be caused by several different viruses, people can get the disease again.” Great.

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  4. That sounds awful Meg! My 2.5 year old son has caught it twice now – but he didn’t look nearly as bad as yours! It just made him SO itchy that he basically couldn’t sleep at all for a couple nights both times he got it – and nothing helped with the itching. He also had trouble eating because his mouth was so sore! It wasn’t fun – EITHER time! Feeling for you!

    • Oh man! That sounds worse than we had it! My guy sure looked bad, but it never seemed to bother him – and I am super thankful for that! If you ever get it in your house again can I recommend a baking soda bath? It is supposed to help neutralize the itchiness and seems to really work for my son’s eczema. Could help?

      • Definitely will try that if it comes around again! Yeah – it was pretty miserable around here for a few days – both times! I really hope it doesn’t happen again! (fingers crossed)

      • I will definitely try that the next time…if there is a next time…which I really hope there won’t be! (crossing fingers). It really was pretty miserable around here both times. I will try that when my son’s eczema flares up though!

  5. OMG! My daughter had it and she just has a couple of tiny red bumps – almost nothing – we only mentioned it to the doctor at all as we happened to be there anyway for vactinations. I would have really been worried if it was this bad. Glad he’s better now!

    • Thank you! It was quite alarming, but we made it through with the help of good family and lots of jokes about the plague 😉

      • Kathy

        Both my little ones, 23 months and 10 months have this. My oldest is over the worst his bum and mouth were very sore which resulted in few sleepless nights. My little girl is only on day 2 and she looks pretty awful, she also has eczema so it will be interesting to see if she gets it worse than her brother. So far she is in good form but some of the spots around ankles look pretty sore. I have aqueous camomile cream for itch relief but not sure if it helps much!!

      • Eczema does seem to make it worse 😦 I’ve had success with baking soda in the bath to help cut the itch. Lots of neosprin! Good luck!

  6. Heather

    My son of 8 months just developed this over night! I’ve been frantic and have seen the doctors twice. My son has eczema too and his body is covered in exactly what your son Buddy has! But none really in his mouth (thank god) so he is eating well and doesn’t bother him really at all. EXCEPT ITCHING!!!! So happy I found this post makes me feel hopeful and eager for time to fly and he be all better. They have me using an a perscription antibiotic cream on the open ones (basically all over) and a perscription steroid cream from the neck down (I hate using it) and he is taking a perscription antihistamine syrup for itching. Can’t wait to get this over with!!!!!!!!

    • Hang in there! This will be a great war-story later 😉

      • Heather

        Thank you for the positive words! We’re at day 3 since the flare up and it looks like it’s drying out! I have a feeling these sores are gonna take awhile to go away completely! Silverlining is he almost slept though the night and had two really good naps yesterday! Since your son had a bad case like him did it take a couple weeks to clear?

      • Yes, the sores do take awhile to heal completely and some of them left red marks for a couple months, but they did go away completely eventually. He actually got a second strain of it just a few months ago and the same happened, but he has no signs or scars at all now- wheh!

  7. Uh god… That is exactly what his ankle looks like! He’s been digging at it incessantly but I thought it was just this eczema flare up! Luckily it is nowhere else (I don’t think, but I will be inspecting the rest of him first thing in the morning). Nothing to help him through it? Is there any way to keep it from spreading to the rest of him?

    Baking soda bath for baby boy tomorrow!

    • Unfortunately, once the virus is in, it’s in. It can crop up anywhere. I recommend taking him to the doc anyway, but it just has to run its course. Be careful, though. It’s particularly contagious amongst little kids. My doc recommended we lather him with a petroleum based antibiotic (like neosporin) to keep it from getting infected. Hope that helps! Let me know how goes!

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